In March 2011, President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Proof of Concept Center (PoCC) program as part of the i6 Green Challenge to promote clean energy advancement and economic growth, an integral little bit of his Startup America initiative. Managed through the Economic Development Administration (EDA), this program encouraged the creation of PoCCs targeted at accelerating the introduction of green technologies to increase the nation’s competitiveness and hasten its financial recovery.
1 million to each of seven new PoCCs. 500,000 for growing existing centers or developing commercialization centers to concentrate on later-stage research. This program increases an important question: What’s a PoCC and exactly how is it different from other initiatives to stimulate innovation? PoCCs are designed to help address the particularly troublesome gap between the invention of a particular technology and its own further development into new products or applications.
The problem is that in most cases neither the faculty researcher who makes a breakthrough nor the school itself gets the information had a need to understand its value to outsiders or the contacts and incentives essential to develop it. In the jargon of economics, there are informational, motivational, and institutional asymmetries.
Public funding of PoCCs symbolizes a new approach to technology development. Many people became alert to PoCCs only with the current federal initiative, but the first PoCCs were established more than 10 years back and were part of a broader trend emphasizing the development, transfer, and commercialization of university or college technologies.
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For years, university or college reputations hinged on the ability of faculty to obtain sponsored grants (typically from the government), carry out research, and publish results that donate to the broader body of knowledge. This process, however, can also yield new inventions or discoveries that may be useful for social or financial purposes beyond fundamental science.
This environment started to change in the past due 1970s as America confronted a severe downturn in commercial productivity, accompanied by bankruptcies, layoffs, and plummeting world market shares for U.S. economists and policymakers concurrently observed the stunning success of the Japanese keiretsu: an industrial alliance through which large manufacturers, suppliers, and public establishments developed and produced high-quality products for export collaboratively.
National leaders in America consequently sought to improve federal policies relating to commercial performance by scaling back again burdensome federal regulations, removing obstacles to industrial collaboration, and improving the return on investment for federally-funded university or college research. Policymakers were specifically worried that valuable technology were either seated on the shelf within universities or mired in red tape within federal government mission firms.
Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN), was especially thinking about ways to disseminate and accelerate the introduction of new biomedical technology produced from federally-funded research. Bayh joined up with Senator Robert Dole (R-KS) to propose and move the University and Small Business Patent Procurement Act of 1980 to enhance the introduction of a new, university-developed technology into the private sector. The immediate impact dropped lacking goals.
Not only were universities slow to comprehend the implications of Bayh-Dole, but with some exceptions, high-technology companies hardly ever seen universities as a source for useful systems. Gradually, understanding the financial potential of technology commercialization and licensing, an increasing quantity of universities responded by establishing technology transfer offices to control the legislatively mandated invention disclosure process and determine whether to file for intellectual property protection. In fact, between 1980 and 2013, almost 150 new technology transfer offices were founded at U.S.